You’ve heard of Hot Girl Summer. You’ve heard of Christian Girl Autumn. Tis the season for the Thanksgiving Outfit.
Back in 2016, as many American women remember well, the brown button-up skirt made its way across stores and into our closets, just in time for Thanksgiving Day. Paired with a long-sleeved black shirt, a pair of black boots and perhaps some black tights if you live in the colder regions, the iconic skirt took women by storm.
Fondly coined the classic “Thanksgiving Outfit” by social media users, photos of women wearing the outfit back in 2016 resurface each November as we memorialize the collective fashion statement unintentionally made by American women.
Some social media users joke about the outfit being their annual Thanksgiving uniform, remaining faithfully in their closet each year until pulled out for this special occasion, with only slight alterations to stay on track with the changing fashion trends over the years. The addition of a sweater or the exchange of knee-high boots for booties will usually do.
Others recall wearing the outfit for just one Thanksgiving holiday, having moved on to other fashion trends in recent years (but never forgetting this iconic look).
But while American women continue to memorialize the beloved Thanksgiving Outfit, you can’t wear the same thing every year. I will admit my Thanksgiving Outfit had to be mourned about a year and a half ago as I donated the skirt to a local clothing drive after realizing I could no longer comfortably zip it up.
And according to social media, it seems other women are doing the same. Users are sharing their updated Thanksgiving Outfit ideas that, although inspired by the original 2016 look, are more centered around comfort and functionality. How will I feel after I eat in this dress? Can I play with my nieces and nephews without ripping these pants? These are important questions.
After all, we are getting dressed up to eat large amounts of food with our families and friends. This is not exactly the occasion to dress to the nines.
And sure, for many, Thanksgiving is an excuse to wear that cute outfit you’ve been waiting for the right occasion to go out in. Sometimes, it just feels nice to look nice.
“We all have that one relative who will say something if we roll up to Thanksgiving in sweatpants.”
And let’s be real: We all have that one relative who will say something if we roll up to Thanksgiving in sweatpants. On a day with the potential of fostering so many arguments, our outfit should be the least controversial talking point of the evening. I’m not saying we should wear our pajamas to our celebrations (although I hold no shame for any communities that would).
What I am saying is, Thanksgiving is also an occasion to enjoy the company of our beloved. It’s not really about the outfit we wear.
Amid discussions about the morality of the holiday’s history, it’s arguable that our desire to be together over a warm meal prepared by each other is the most important and redeemable part of our modern understanding of the day.
So this year, take the advice of women across social media and be comfy-cute this Thanksgiving. Put your stretchy pants on, grab your cozy sweater and make sure your boots can get you from the kitchen to the dining room with ease. You are not driving to your grandma’s house to put on a fashion show. You are showing up because you care for all the other people who are showing up. And it’s time to fill your heart with their beloved presence as you fill your bellies with yummy food.
Mallory Challis is a master of divinity student at Wake Forest University School of Divinity and a former BNG Clemons Fellow.